Free Kids’ Fishing Events

Gifford Pinchot National Forest and local partners are hosting three free fishing events for kids and families. The closest event is at Merwin Park from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 6: the Mount St. Helens Kids’ Fishing Derby, where 1,500 rainbow trout are waiting to be reeled in by kids.

Fishing Derby events include fishing, a parade, storytelling inside a 40-foot-long inflatable salmon, face painting, make-your-own volcano, Gyotaku-Japanese fish printing on tee shirts, an aqua-aquarium, and information on water and boater safety. Everything is free, including lunch. Fishing rods and tackle will be available for kids to borrow and volunteers will be on hand to show kids how to fish. Fish cleaning will be provided. No need to register in advance; just show up. Call 360-449-7800 for more information.

There are two more free kids’ fishing events, but you’ll have to drive a little further: the Mt. Adams Fish Education Day at Goose Lake, deep in the forest north of Carson, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 13 (call 509-395-3419 for details), and the Lewis County Kids’ Fishing Derby at Lake Scanewa, east of Chehalis, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 6 (call 360-740-2449 for details).

Kids age 14 and under can fish year-round without a fishing license but teens and adults aged 15 and older must carry a Washington State fishing license while fishing. All state fishing regulations must be followed during these events. Washington freshwater sport fishing rules can be viewed at

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